A good night’s sleep is not just great for beautiful skin, it’s a foundation for good physical, mental and emotional health.
Living in a world that’s switched on 24-7, always connected, on demand, you may find it hard to switch off. On top of this there has been ongoing uncertainty in the news…yet another thing to keep us awake at night!
Sleep & Anxiety
A recent study by the University of California at Berkeley revealed how just one night of sleep deprivation triggered a 30% increase in anxiety. They took 18 young, healthy adults and measured their brain activity after one normal night of sleep compared with 24 hours of deprived sleep.
After each session brain reactivity was monitored whilst the participants were shown an emotionally evocative film. Those who were sleep deprived had more activity in the amygdala, the part of the brain that deals with fear and anxiety and they had less activity in the medial frontal cortices, which help control emotional reactions.
If you have felt particularly emotional after a bad night’s sleep this explains why. A good night’s sleep lowers our anxiety and helps balance our emotional reactions.
So what can steps can you take to ensure you get a good night’s sleep?
In case you were wondering a good night’s sleep is usually between 6.5 and 8 hours… and is uninterrupted.
If you have a newborn baby or you care for someone who wakes a lot in the night use these strategies to help you make the most of the sleep you are getting.
#1 Make your bedroom a warm and cosy place, somewhere you want to retreat to to relax and unwind. That means no screens or phones. If you have do have a television in your bedroom cover it with a beautiful material before bedtime. If you need some inspiration look up the Danish tradition of ‘hygge’. Think snuggle, pillows, soft textures.
#2 Get into a routine of going to bed at the same time every night and try to wake up at roughly the same time, even at weekends
#3 Use some soothing essential oils like Lavender or Frankincense to help you relax or a invest in a bedtime pillow mist like Peace Room & Linen Mist or Tranquility to get you into a calm mood and to unwind before getting into bed.
#4 Avoid caffeine 4-6 hours before bedtime. If your sleep is particularly poor I would recommend attempting to cut out caffeine from your diet altogether
#5 Limit alcohol and heavy meals just before sleep as this can all of a sudden wake you up later on in the night due to increased blood sugar levels
#6 Turn off the tv before you go to bed & read a book instead. Research shows that the eye movements watching television has a stimulating effect whereas the eye movements during reading are more conducive to sleep
#7 Exercise regularly as this is excellent at reducing effects of stress hormones and boosts circulation & blood flow to your skin & body as a whole, but not in the evening close to when you are going to sleep because the adrenaline will keep you awake!
#8 Have really comfortable nightwear, pillows & bed linen. Make the experience of sleeping as inviting as possible
#9 If you have pets that wake you up earlier than you like, value your sleep and keep them out of your bedroom.
#10 I see a lot of clients who have suffered with sleep issues and often a good aromatherapy massage later on in the day or in the early evening is wonderful at promoting a good night’s sleep and is also helpful in breaking the cycle of not sleeping.
Lavender oil is soporific which means it induces sleep and that’s why I used it in the creation of my Sweet Dreams Gift Set and a Beauty Sleep Set. Indian Head Massage is another useful treatment to help improve sleep.
#11 Spend 3 minutes becoming aware of what sleep means to you?
Does it mean stress? Mind chatter? Interruptions? Or perhaps escapism? My only alone time? End of the day? Exhaustion?
If you have negative thoughts around sleep just become aware of them and choose to replace them with a positive statement or word like
Sleep for me means rejuvenation and repair
Try and listen out for your negative mind chatter that could be perpetuating a poor night’s sleep. Acknowledge it, explore it and replace it with a positive word or phrase.
I hope you have found this useful and if you have something you would like to share please leave a comment below.
Sweet dreams & remember to put your clocks BACK one hour Saturday night!
Best wishes, Louisa